Best Baby Gates Reviews & Ratings

Having toddlers living in large homes can keep you watching over them every second to ensure that they don’t put themselves in any form of danger. With a calm child, it is possible for you to do your house chores while keeping an eye on him/her, but with an adventurous child, it is a bit difficult. Purchasing toys alone is not enough to keep your kids in one position, you need to take the extra step in keeping them safe by purchasing and installing safety gates.

Whether your kids are calm or not, as long as you live in a house with dangerous zones such as stairs, heights, fireplaces, and others, you need to purchase a safety gate to restrict them from going to these zones and endangering themselves. There are so many safety gates in the market today and they are classified mainly into Pressure mounted, and hardware mounted safety gates.

Pressure Mounted Safety Gates

Pressure mounted baby safety gates are designed to stay in place simply by the pressure they assert on the walls or door frame. With this type of gates, you don’t need to disfigure your home by using hammer on your walls, or drilling holes. They are also designed in such a way that they can adjust to fit the width of various openings. Although pressure mounted gates are capable of staying sturdily in place for a long time, hardware mounted gates can be installed permanently.

Hardware Mounted Safety Gates

Hardware mounted baby gates are more of a permanent option due to the fact that they are designed to be installed by drilling holes in to the wall and using bolts as well as nuts to firmly securely them. For people who are not too technically inclined, it may be a bit difficult to install the gates due to the fact that tools such as a drilling machine and a hammer are needed. Some level of care needs to be taken as well when using these tools so as not to damage the wall. Removing hardware mounted gates will leave marks on your wall, so if you don’t really need the gate for long term, consider using pressure mounted gates instead.

Safety Gates for Wide Irregular Places

Although, this is not a major classification of safety gates, it is still worth discussing. Pressure and Hardware mounted safety gates are designed to be installed only on doors and wide openings. This will always keep your kids far from you especially when you are working in areas of the house that are far from where your kids are. Safety gates designed for wide irregular places can be used to form a playing yard for your kids. You can create this yard on any flat surface in your home. If you have to do some work and you want your kids to be where you can see them, simply create the yard close by and put them in it.

Our Top 3 Picks

Deco-Extra
  • Deco-Extra
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy Install
  • Price: See Here
North States
  • North States
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Cardinal
  • Cardinal
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Light-Weight
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Best Baby Gates

 

1. Multi Use Deco

1. Multi Use Deco
If you have just given birth to a baby and already thinking of purchasing a safety gate then the Multi Use Deco gate should be on your list. The gate is not just made of sturdy bronze metal, but also adjustable and capable of fitting into most door openings and stairways.

Unlike hardware mounted safety gates that require nails to be installed, this unit uses pressure mounted tension bolts to mount enough pressure on the adjacent walls thereby keeping it sturdily in place. Its auto close feature is another good one as you can walk right through and the door will close gently behind you.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal
Age Group: 6 months to 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs
Width: Adjustable
Mounting type: Pressure mounted
Door type: Two directions swing
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 28'' H x 37'' W x 2'' D
Door: 18.25'' W
Overall Weight: 23 lb

Final Thoughts

What most customers love about this unit is that it is affordable. With the kind of material used in its construction and the fact that it retails at a price everyone can afford, this gate is a must have for everyone with infants.
Pros

Easy to unbox and install

Gate looks beautiful and well decorated

Mounted solely on pressure. No need for Nails.

Sturdy and durable metal

Good height

Door closes automatically

One hand unlocking mechanism

Cons

Gate opening is a bit narrow

You may need care with the Auto shut feature

2. North States Easy Close

2. North States Easy Close
This is one of the top child safety gates in the industry today. It has got a lot of positive reviews from several customers who claim that it is easy to install, durable, but too simple in looks.

By purchasing this product, you get to enjoy several convenient functions which are packed in it making it easy to install and operate. The double locking system is one. It provides that security which is necessary for a top level child safety gate. The one direction swing feature makes this product ideal for top of the stairs where only outward swing is required. With the locking system which is not so difficult to learn, you can unlock the gate using one hand. This comes in handy especially when you are carrying your baby, or something else on your second hand.

There are times when you may want your safety gate to remain open. This product is designed with a hold-open feature which leaves the gate open at a 90 degree angle for as long as you want it.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal
Age Group: 6 months to 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs
Width: Adjustable
Mounting type: Pressure mounted
Door type: One direction swing
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 29.2'' H x 28'' W x 2'' D
Overall Weight: 15 lb

Final Thoughts

This is a very basic looking gate but packs all the features necessary to keep your infant safe. It sells within a mid price range. If you don’t care about the looks of this gate, then it is a very good option to consider.
Pros

Perfect for wide openings between 29.5” and 38.75”

Heavy duty metal construction

Easy to use Double locking system

Hold-open feature

Extension hardware included

Cons

Not very attractive

One way swing direction

3. Cardinal Gates

3. Cardinal Gates
Having been in existence since as far back as 1993, Cardinal has been going higher with a variety of top quality gates for children and pets. They happen to be the only company that uses aluminum in the manufacture of their gates making it light and durable. The one hand operation, and two direction swing feature makes it easy for you open the door using one hand, without dropping whatever it is you are carrying on your second hand. The locking mechanism is one that will definitely baffle toddlers and some adults as well. It is something most adults need to spend a little time figuring out.

The gate is easy to install; but it is not a pressure mount type. You will therefore need a few tools to mount it. A drilling machine is best if you are using long nails.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Aluminum, wood
Age Group: 6 months and above
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Width: Adjustable
Mounting type: Hardware mounted
Door type: Two directions swing
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 29.5'' H x 42.5'' W x 1'' D
Overall Weight: 10 lb

Final Thoughts

Cardinal brand is a well-known brand with top quality safety gates in the industry. This unit boasts of a lot of features required to keep your babies safe. The only issue a lot of consumers have complained about is the locking mechanism which is a bit difficult to learn. However, once you decode it, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to open the gate using one hand only. This product is slightly expensive than its counterparts in the market, but the good thing is that, you get value for your money.
Pros

Simple looks, and easy to install

Two way swing direction

One hand unlocking mechanism

Sturdy, but light weight construction

Perfect for stairways, doors, and several other areas

Cons

Locking mechanism may be difficult to operate at first

4. Retract-A-Gate

4. Retract-A-Gate
If you are looking for a unique safety gate which has got all the features of a regular safety gate then this is the product for you. It is very easy to install and although not sturdy, the mesh material provides it with the strength required to keep your baby from passing through to restricted zones.
Most regular safety gates have a maximum of 55 inches width, but this product has two separate width designs from which you can choose. There is the regular 55 inches width; and in case you have a wider opening, you can go for the 75 inches width design.

While some may have reservations about using this product on stairs, remember that it has been fully certified by JPMA to be used at the top or bottom of stairs. With the unique nature of this Retract-A-Gate safety gate, and the features it is packed with, it definitely is one that you should consider adding to your list of options.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Fabric, mesh
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Width: Adjustable
Mounting type: Hardware mounted
Door type: Retraction
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.2 x 39.4 inches
Overall Weight: 4.1 lb

Final Thoughts

It is easy for customers to criticize this gate due to the fact that tough metals or woods are not used in its construction. The truth is that it is not sturdy, but it is tough enough to keep babies, who are not more than 2 years old, away from danger. The fact that it sells at an expensive price is another issue that may raise eyebrows, as other safety gates are far cheaper. However, considering the uniqueness of this gate, its durability, and that it doesn’t cause obstruction even if you decide not to dismantle it, I can assure you that it is worth purchasing.
Pros

Childproof locking mechanism

Certified by JPMA to be used at the top or bottom of stairs

Tough mesh

Washable and see through fabric

Easy installation

Easy one hand operation

Cons

Quite expensive

Not as sturdy as other gates

Smart kids may crawl under

5. Evenflo Easy Walk

5. Evenflo Easy Walk
This Evenflo stairs gate looks very simple but attractive. It is made of sturdy metal and comes in a white pretty finish. The door is capable of swinging in either direction and features a unique locking mechanism. Unlike most other safety gate in the industry, this Evenflo unit has an indicator which shows whether the door is locked or unlocked. This is particularly useful in times when you just push the door and expect it to lock, but for some reasons it stays unlocked.

In order to make the Evenflo perfect for top of the stairs installation, it is designed with a swing stop feature which prevents the door from swinging in a particular direction, especially in the direction of the stairs. One can lose balance and fall if the door is opened in that direction, but with the swing stop feature, you can set the door to open only in the opposite direction to the stairs.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Width: Adjustable
Mounting type: Hardware mounted
Door type: Two way swing
Locking Mechanism: No
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 32'' H x 2'' D
Overall Weight: 13 lb

Final Thoughts

The Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stairs gate is exactly what its name suggests. Just like the other gates in this review, you can open it using one hand and swing it in any direction you wish. The locked/unlocked indicator is however the distinguishing feature between this gate and the others in its category. The fact that it sells at an affordable price and still packs all these mouthwatering features is enough for you to consider purchasing it.
Pros

Easy to install and operate

One hand operation

Sturdy and durable wood construction

Red/Green Lock indicator

Removable swing stop to prevent gate from swinging out the stairs

Cons

Mounting materials not too strong

6. Kidco

6. Kidco
The Kidco gate is one of the most basic safety gates in the industry. If your reason for buying a safety gate is just because of your toddlers, then this unit may be a good option. However, if you have kids that are above 2 years and you want to prevent them from going into a restricted area, then this unit will do you no good. The unlocking process simply involves pushing a latch which can easily be figured out by kids.

The door can swing both inwards and outwards making it easy for you to walk through no matter the direction from which you approach it. There is also a swing stop feature which prevents the door from swinging in a particular direction. This is good for stairways in ensuring that the door swings only outwardly. Made from durable steel, this gate is one that is absolutely resistant to corrosion. It is therefore capable of lasting several years while retaining its quality.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal, wood
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Mounting type: Hardware mounted
Door type: Two way swing
Locking Mechanism: No
Width: Adjustable
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 30.5'' H x 43.5'' W
Overall Weight: 8.4 lb.

Final Thoughts

It boasts of basic features, however, it is still capable of fitting in to some homes. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest gates in this review and this is justified by its simple construction. As long as your kids are not more than 2 years old, you can consider purchasing this gate.
Pros

One hand operation

Directional swing stop to prevent gate from swinging in a particular direction

Quick release hardware for un-mounting gate when not in use

Heavy duty steel construction

Cons

No locking mechanism

Looks too simple

7. Munchkin Easy Close

7. Munchkin Easy Close
This option is designed for parents who are in search of a sturdy gate that can be fitted in most openings. Whether it is a staircase, doorway, or hallway, this unit is capable of fitting in, and sturdily remaining in place. Another beautiful feature that makes this gate stand out from the others on this buyer guide is the fact that you can mount it either by pressure or by hardware. With such flexibility, you do not need to drill holes into your wall if you don’t want to; the pressure mounting kits are enough to keep it in place for as long as you want.

This unit also features a dual locking mechanism which is useful in stopping smart and adventurous kids from finding their way through the gate.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Mounting type: Pressure, Hardware mounted
Door type: Two way swing
Locking Mechanism: Yes, Auto lock
Width: Adjustable
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 37'' H x 54'' W x 1.6'' D
Overall Weight: 19.5 lb

Final Thoughts

This is a high quality product which comes with all the necessary features in a child safety gate. The locking mechanism is great and will give toddlers a hard time cracking. This unit offers so much, but still sells for an incredibly affordable price. It is definitely worth considering for your home.
Pros

Dual mounting feature

One hand opening

Dual locking mechanism

Auto-lock feature

Firm construction

Cons

Fairly difficult to install

8. North States Superyard 3 In 1

8. North States Superyard 3 In 1
The North States superyard is quite different from the pressure and hardware safety gates that you are familiar with. Although the concept is the same, you can use this unit anywhere within your home, on a flat surface. If you are cooking or doing domestic chores and you are not comfortable locking up your toddlers in a room all by themselves, you can set up this superyard close to where you are and keep your toddlers in it. This way, you have all the freedom to do whatever you are doing, while they play with their toys in the yard. Although this unit comes with 6 panels, you can add more to it if you feel the space is too small for your toddlers; or you can also remove some panels if you feel otherwise.

If you have very active kids, they may push the yard while playing but you don’t have to worry about that, as it will not scratch your floor. You can therefore assemble it on any type of flat surface in your home without worrying about your floor.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Metal
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Mounting type: Free standing or Hardware mounted
Intended Placement: Flat floor
Foldable: Yes
Door type: Swinging
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Width: Adjustable
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 30'' H x 151'' W
Overall Weight: 39.35 lb.

Final Thoughts

This option is a brilliant innovation as it helps keep your toddlers within the confines of a small yard. With this unit, you don’t need to lock your children upstairs while you do domestic chores downstairs. You can have them safely enclosed, and close to you, no matter where you are in the house. As for the price, when you compare it with some other pressure gates that sell in the same range, we think the price is fair enough.
Pros

Can be used as a safe play yard

Can be configured to any space

Works on any surface

Panels can easily be added or removed

Will not scratch your floor

Easy to assemble

Cons

A bit expensive

9. Evenflo

9. Evenflo
The Evenflo Exansion gate is manufactured with highly durable wood and designed for really wide openings. If you have openings that are as wide as 24 – 60 inches then you should consider going for this product.

The hardware mounting kits are made available and is easy to install, giving the gate that extreme sturdiness it needs to remain standing when pressure is applied on it by kids. Although this unit doesn’t feature a locking mechanism, it has a latch which is easy to operate using one hand. You can therefore have quick entry through the gate even if you are carrying your baby in one hand.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Plastic, wood
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Mounting type: Hardware mounted
Door type: Two way swing
Locking Mechanism: No
Width: Adjustable
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 30.5'' H x 43.5'' W
Overall Weight: 8.4 lb.

Final Thoughts

If your home is designed with really wide openings, then the Evenflo gate should be on your list of options. Although it is constructed with wood and plastic, they are durable and capable of lasting several years. They are also strong and will not get destroyed by your toddlers. It is in the same range with the average safety gates in the market thereby making it a worthy option.
Pros

Wide enough for several openings

Child resistant one-hand release

Durable imported wood

Easy hardware mount and installation

Telescopic safety rail prevents pinching

Cons

Cannot be used at the top of stairs

No locking mechanism

10. Munchkin

10. Munchkin
The Munchkin baby gate is a stylishly built gate which protects your kids from danger, while adding a touch of elegance to your home. The wood and steel design is one that you will hardly find in several other safety gates and it doesn’t just add elegance to the gate, but gives it the required sturdiness to prevent it from being broken by kids.

Mounting it is easy, and you can decide whether you want to use pressure mounting, or hardware mounting. The double locking mechanism is easy to understand by adults, but a misery for toddlers. Once you go through the gate, simply push it a little and it will shut automatically. If you live in a well decorated house, this gate is one which you definitely must consider.
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Features and Specifications

Construction Material: Steel, wood
Age Group: 6 months – 2 years
Intended Placement: Doorway, Stairs, Hallway
Mounting type: Pressure and Hardware mounted
Door type: Two way swing
Locking Mechanism: Yes
Unlocking: One hand
Dimensions: 33.5 x 24.5 x 2.5 inches
Overall Weight: 7.6 lb

Final Thoughts

This is not just a regular gate for restricting your baby’s movements, it is also crafted to enhance the beauty of your home. The wood and steel construction gives it enough strength, and its mounting kits is sturdy enough to ensure the gate remains in place no matter the pressure applied on it by kids. If you live in a very beautiful home and you need a gate that will blend easily, this is the product for you. It is not too expensive if its quality and design is to be considered.
Pros

Beautiful wood and steel construction

Double locking mechanism

Two direction swing

Gate shuts on a single push

Easy one hand opening

Dual mounting feature

Easy installation

Cons

Not very wide

 Important Features of an Ideal Baby Gate

Strength and Durability

This is ideally the first feature to check for before purchasing a safety gate. The two main materials used in its construction are metal and wood. You can go for either of them as long as you are able to verify their strength and durability.

Sturdy Construction

It is possible to put together several metals or woods of high strength and durability to form a gate, and still have it fall apart. This is what distinguishes quality of construction from the strength of materials used. To ensure that a safety gate remains in one piece for several years, the strength of materials used in its construction has to be equally matched with a solid construction.

Height

This is not a very strong feature to consider as the ideal height used for most gates should be okay for your kids as well. The only time when you will need to put height in consideration is if you have kids that are a bit taller and may attempt going over the gate. By using a short gate in this circumstance, you will be giving your kids an opportunity to try going over and an adventurous kid will definitely try.

Slat Spacing

The ideal slat spacing for safety gates is 3 inches as most kids will be unable to put their head through. If the slat spacing is wider, your kid may get his head stuck in between while attempting to go through thereby leaving you with a problem to solve.

Locking System

Most baby gate manufacturers use simple safety latches, and while this may be okay for some parents, others may prefer a more secured locking mechanism. A simple latch may be difficult for toddlers to figure out at first, but as time goes on and they become wiser, they will surely learn how to unlock it. If the restricted zones in your house are very dangerous, then you may need to purchase a safety gate with an advanced locking mechanism.

Mounting System

Whether you should buy a pressure or a hardware mounted safety gate is totally up to you. If you want to be able to remove your gate when not in use, and you don’t want the walls where it was installed to be disfigured, you can opt for the pressure mounted safety gates. If on the other hand, you want the gate to remain in place for a long time, or you want a more solid installation, you should go for the hardware mounted system.

FAQs

Why and when do I need a baby gate?

A lot of people ask themselves this question, and the most logical answer would be “as soon as you have your baby”. But there is more to it than just that straight answer. You may be living in a house that is safe for babies and as such, have no reason to purchase a gate. If on the other hand, you live in a house that requires baby gates for stairs,  has exterior doors, fireplaces, glass furniture, shelves, and fragile decorative items, you certainly need to do everything necessary to secure your baby. Babies hate to be alone, and they love to explore, especially toddlers. The moment you leave them alone to go do domestic chores, they will get themselves busy by exploring your house, and in the process, may hurt themselves. If you live in a sophisticated house with so many items that are dangerous to babies, you need to purchase a safety gate as soon as your baby begins to crawl or walk.

What type of baby gate do I need?

There are two major types of safety gates in the market today which are: Pressure fit baby gates, and Hardware mounted baby gates.  There is also Child safety gates for wide or irregular areas. The right type to purchase depends mainly on the area where you are trying to keep your baby safe from. Pressure fit gates are designed for narrow openings to prevent babies from going beyond. They stay in place by pressure mounted on them from the door opening. Hardware mounted gates are similar to pressure fit gates in the sense that they guide narrow openings. However, the difference is that they are secured in place by screws or bolts. Child safety gates for wide or irregular areas are just what the name implies. They guide your babies from going beyond a certain area, these are your typical baby gates for stairs. Before purchasing a child safety gate, carefully check out your home in order to know the appropriate type of gates you need.

How sturdy should the gate be?

In the past, a lot of people have underestimated the strength of babies by purchasing a safety gate made of weak wood. This is a very bad idea as you can end up causing more harm to your baby. Babies love to play, they love to explore their strength, and if your door is not sturdy enough, they will eventually pull it down after many attempts. This is not to suggest that you go buy a very heavy door. The options reviewed in this guide are examples of safety doors designed with sturdy materials that make them not too heavy or light.

What locking mechanism is preferred?

In terms of locking mechanisms, it is good that you go with the most convenient. If the area you are restricting your baby from is not too dangerous and you don’t mind if he figures out, you can go for a gate with a simple lock. If on the other hand, you don’t want your child going beyond a certain area, then you need a child proof locking mechanism. There are safety doors out there with simple locking mechanisms that babies end up figuring out before they become 2 years old, and there are safety doors also that children will most likely be unable to figure out. The ideal type depends on you evaluating the dangers in your home and deciding the best locking mechanism to fit. Try to think about the future when considering locking mechanisms. Don’t just think that your baby is not big enough to open this door; you should think about a year from now. Or would you be happy purchasing another child safety door in the future? I’m sure that is a no.

Should I care about the height of the gate?

Of course, you need to consider the height of your baby’s safety gate. Although most manufacturers keep the height at 22 inches which is ideal for most babies, if your baby is taller, you can consider a gate that is as high as 39 inches for improved safety. One reason why you must care about the height of your gate is because some babies are really smart and playful. They see you go through the gate every time, but they can’t. This can prompt them to try going over the gate. Another valid point to note when you install your safety gate is to ensure the gap at the bottom is not too much. If you try to manage a short gate by raising it off the floor, then you give room for your baby to try going under.

Can I buy multiple gates?

Well, the amount of gates you need to buy depends on the size of your home, the dangerous places in your home, and the level of liberty you want your baby to enjoy. If you live in a really big house with several places that can prove dangerous to babies, then you already know the amount of gates you need. If your budget is tight, it is still possible to purchase one. But then again, you would have to place it in a strategic place that stops your baby from reaching all the dangerous places in your home.